Perhaps better known by some as the “dudes with bowls on their heads doing rock stuff”, Adam and the Metal Hawks have found the gap between classic 60s, 70s and 80s rock and today’s younger generation. Gaining nearly 3 million followers in roughly six months, the American rock band became a viral TikTok sensation for creating quirky music videos which show off their down-to-heart personalities and have even gained the attention of lovable legend Jack Black.
From covering classic rock tracks like ‘Crazy Train’ ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Back In Black’, to trending TikTok songs like ‘Beggin’ and both iconic and nostalgic songs like the Pokemon theme song, Adam and The Metal Hawks know how to capture their audience whilst staying true to their roots.
Full interview here:
The band features vocalist Adam Ezegelian, bassist Ryan Daversa, guitarist Johnny Barry and drummer Alex Hertler. A few years on after only becoming a foursome in 2019, the tight-knit group were clearly meant to be.
Adam featured on American Idol in Season 14 in 2015 before meeting the group of three named The Metal Hawks. He has clearly mastered the ability to bring personality to performance without taking away from his distinctive vocals – somehow reminiscent of both Jack Black and the likes of Steven Tyler and Dio in one sound.
Ryan, Johnny and Alex met through middle school and a music store where Johnny and Alex took music lessons. After a few years together as a trio, their management introduced them to Adam who was working on his solo career at the time.
Adam and the Metal Hawks released their debut self-titled album in 2020, featuring their quarantine track ‘Wastin’ Time’.
Adam and the Metal Hawks only joined TikTok in January 2021 and in less than a year they have blown up with viral video after viral video. They initially joined the social media platform after a festival in Switzerland was cancelled due to the pandemic and their Europe tour had been delayed.
How did you start off on TikTok?
Adam: “We actually just joined the platform this year in January and before the pandemic and lockdowns, we were doing shows. We actually had a festival on the calendar for Switzerland and we were going to come over to Europe for a whole tour, it would have been awesome and of course it got pushed back and delayed. And so we decided alright we can’t do shows so we got to jump on TikTok – everybody’s doing it. And we knew we couldn’t just do our original music and pray. We found the platform has a lot of trends and a lot of memes, so we threw our hat in the ring with a little bowl video and put some bowls on our heads and hit them with water bottles and it just kind of blew up. We got over 100,000 followers in our first week of doing it and after that we did our Jack Black duet thing trying to get Jack Black to notice us and that worked out great.”
How does it feel to almost be an overnight sensation? You formed in 2019 and released your first album in 2020 so in the grand scheme of things you haven’t been together that long but you’re now producing viral videos.
Ryan: “I think it’s honestly just a lot of creativity like Adam said, it’s kind of a necessary evil to blow up on TikTok to have some sort of gimmick or a meme. That’s how it was with the bowls, that’s how it was for the Jack Black videos and stuff like that but now with all of the new music we will be releasing at the end of the summer (we’re going to have a single and hopefully an EP or an album next year) we’re hoping that resonates with people. You have a certain percentage of those followers that came for the meme who will also stay for the music.”
Are there any plans for Adam and the Metal Hawks and Jack Black?
Adam: “We’d love to play a show with him, maybe open up for his band Tenacious D that would be sick. Maybe make a School Of Rock 2!”
Alex: “We could do some songs for the new Jumanji movie, that would be cool.”
How hard is it to get into the mind frame of writing originals when the covers do so well on social media?
Ryan: “When we have rehearsals lately it will be like ‘oh let’s make some TikToks’ but now we’re starting to have some gigs again, we’re learning how to be a real band again. But I think if you go into the meeting knowing what the practice is going to be like, like ‘okay this practice we’re going to focus on TikTok’ or ‘this next practice we’re going to focus on our live stuff.’ If you come in with the mind set, I think we can just stick with it. “
Adam: “It’s been kind of weird. Before TikTok, we would just come to a practice with ‘hey i have this idea why don;t we work on it’ or ‘I have an idea for this riff, lets try and build it out into a song’ and it’s pretty similar now but we don’t really have those practises where we can just play. We have a lot more structure to it where it’s ‘okay we need at least three TikToks today so we’re good for the rest of the week’ and going live on TikTok is also important for us – they’re like our only shows, our livestreams. We still come to practice with ideas but it’s more spaced out.
Alex: “Everything is just way more scheduled. Now we have to figure out our interviews, now we’re dedicating our day for this interview. It’s a lot of scheduling … we should all have a calendar?”
What’s next for Adam and the Metal Hawks?
Adam: “We’re planning on releasing at least a single and music video by the end of this summer that will be an original and it’ll be the first song that we’ve released since all the TikTok fame and stardom and all these new fans that may not even know that we’re a real band. A lot of people see us on TikTok and they get a nice chuckle or they just get some good vibes for the day but if they do a little bit of digging, which a bunch of people have already done, you can see on our YouTube we have some music videos up there that are starting to climb and we’re just trying to build up the hype for when do release our new music.
“So the song is called ‘Backwards’ and the music video’s going to feature a lot of cool shots that are played in reverse and it kind of has a party vibe to it. We’re really excited and it’s also something that’s more ‘pop-y’ on the side of pop-rock which is something that we don’t have really have in our previous albums so it’s going to be cool. We’re really excited to see people’s reaction to it.”
With new music in the works and the success of Jack Black’s reaction video, maybe a tour supporting Tenacious D could be on the cards.